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Notice: handing maintenance of various add-ons of mine to the community, effective February 1, 2020

 

Dear NVDA community,

 

After assessing my life situation and maintenance of fourteen add-ons (DictationBridge is the fourteenth), I hereby announce that, effective February 1, 2020, I’ll be handing over maintenance of various add-ons developed or maintained by me to the community at large. The following add-ons will be handed over to you all:

 

  • Easy Table Navigator
  • Golden Cursor
  • ObjPad
  • SystrayList

 

As for Screen Curtain, it’ll be retired soon; for DictationBridge, I had a discussion with project maintainers about my intentions.

 

I’ll maintain the below add-ons for now with help from the community, reasons being:

 

  • A companion NVDA pull request exists: Add-on Updater, Enhanced Touch Gestures, Object Location Tones, Windows 10 App Essentials
  • Certain features will be sent as future pull requests: Enhanced Touch Gestures, Windows 10 App Essentials
  • Plan is being developed to find a way to incorporate features into NVDA itself: Add-on Updater, Control Usage Assistant, Enhanced Touch Gestures, Windows 10 App Essentials
  • Code maintenance: GoldWave, Resource Monitor, StationPlaylist

 

Of these, Windows 10 App Essentials is perhaps the most complex add-on – not because of code size and coverage, but because it is extremely sensitive to changes to NVDA screen reader source code and Windows 10 ecosystem. This is more so now as some of the most prominent (and powerful) features of this add-on – namely volume meter progress bar bug fix for Version 1803 and recognizing modern keyboard in Version 1903 and later is now part of NVDA screen reader itself, making it a bit hard to maintain support for really ancient NVDA releases. I can safely say now that, given continued transfer of code from Windows 10 App Essentials to NVDA, there will come a day when Windows 10 App Essentials, too, will go out the pasture, but that’s a long time away; as long as there is room to improve Windows 10 and its accessibility, along with finding ways to contribute to making NVDA more versatile in handling these issues without help from this add-on, I will continue to develop this add-on (and to answer a Twitter question from an NVDA user, part of the reason why I release dev snapshots of this add-on on a weekly basis is precisely due to the fact that Windows 10 will continue to show us ways to improve accessibility of apps, even ones coming from Microsoft; I know I sound angry and I am indeed angry about this issue, hence my love/hate relationship with this add-on; I’ll reserve a thread on add-ons mailing list to showcase frustrations with Windows 10 ecosystem and accessibility).

 

On a more optimistic note, I’m glad to see that some folks are offering to maintain at least Golden Cursor, and we had a discussion about Easy Table Navigator and making it more useful. I hope the same can be said about other add-ons I’m handing to the community in February.

 

Thank you.

Cheers,

Joseph